University Instagram account wins national award

Social media dept. recognized for its digital marketing content

Written By Eddie Trizzino, Co-Features Editor

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Felicia McKinney spends a lot of time using social media. Although it is often thought of as a leisure activity, McKinney’s use of Point Park’s Instagram account has won a gold award from the 2016 Education Digital Marketing (EDM) Awards.

“It’s very exciting to know that what we’re doing does pay off and that we are recognized for it,” McKinney, Social Media Manager for Point Park, said about the award.

The Instagram account made the gold ranking from the EDM Awards, the highest ranking a university can earn. McKinney said that all of the university’s social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, were submitted, but were not recognized. However, McKinney said she enjoys each of the platforms, using each one personally as well as professionally.

“I am very active,” McKinney said. “Personally, I just love social media. It’s a great way to stay in touch and it’s just fun.”

The  winners  of the EDM awards are chosen by a panel of professional judges, according to the organization’s website. More than 1,000 higher education schools submitted entries to be recognized, also according to the website.

McKinney explained that the university’s Instagram differs from other colleges and universities, focusing on the downtown campus.

“With Instagram, we’re really trying to showcase what life is like on campus and in the city of Pittsburgh,” McKinney said. “We really promote the idea that the city is our campus.”

Point Park’s account features photos from around campus, views in and around the city as well as photos of students posing. McKinney said her favorite photo on Point Park’s Instagram is also the first to break more than 500 likes, which is a photo she took of the Pittsburgh skyline at night captioned “Painted skies over Pittsburgh this morning.”

Freshman cinema production major Daniel Kelly has been an apprentice for the office of social media since last semester. He said he enjoys the lax nature of working for the department, and that he gets to spend free time taking photos and videos for the school.

“I was pretty excited to hear of winning,” Kelly said about the EDM award recognition.

Kelly said that the Halloween party promo he created for the Campus Activities Board’s annual dance is his favorite creation from his apprenticeship. He said social media has helped in alerting him to jobs, even earning an internship through Facebook.

Photos from students may also be found on the page, if they are approved by McKinney. The social media department also hosts “Takeover Tuesday” on Snapchat, when a student from an on-campus organization gains access to the account for the day, which McKinney said is also one of their most popular features.

Point Park’s Instagram has 4,861 followers at the time of his writing. Although the university’s Instagram account was the one that was recognized, McKinney said her favorite social media platform is actually Snapchat. Part of her current bio in Twitter reads “Queen of Snapchat.”

“I would have to say Snapchat is my favorite with Twitter and Instagram at a close second,” McKinney said.

With Point Park’s Twitter account, McKinney somewhat serves as customer service, answering comments or concerns directed at the page. She said she is always focused not only on the content but on the audience as well.

“I think we do a good job of engaging our audience, so our audience is always in control,” McKinney said.

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